Posts Tagged ‘WSJ

25
Jan
15

1.25.15 … Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!! …

SkyMall, bankruptcy, WSJ:  Oh, no, no more yetis or Easter Island statues!! Or dog water bowls that look like toilets!!

The company behind the in-flight catalog SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection, a victim of evolving rules and technology that now lets airline passengers keep their smartphones and tablets powered up during flight.

After 25 years selling quirky products like a Darth Vader toaster or a paper towel holder with USB ports, SkyMall LLC is seeking a court supervised sale of its assets, according to papers filed Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

“We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic ‘SkyMall’ brand find a home to continue to operate,” acting Chief Executive Scott Wiley said in a statement Friday.

The company, which started in 1989, fully suspended its retail catalog operation Jan. 16, and also laid off 47 of its 137 employees, according to court papers. SkyMall’s parent company Xhibit Corp. , which acquired the business in 2013, is also seeking Chapter 11 protection.

via SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy – WSJ.

And I’ve mentioned Skymall before … more than once …  5.5.14 … SkyMall: A Tour Of The American Psyche … We hurt … We don’t want to look fat … We love our home and our pets … we don’t know where to store our shoes … We wish we had the money to order an 8-foot-tall silverback gorilla statue or a small, motorized gondola that moves around a pool while a 2-foot-tall gondolier named Luciano Pool-varotti sings … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

and …

travel, random:  OK, I admit it … while John does the Sudoku puzzles in the magazines, I look through SkyMall to see what ridiculous think I want this trip … and the winner this month is … one or two?

via 6.22.2010 … summer … | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

labyrinth, Lauren Artress:

“The labyrinth is a mandala that meets our longing for a change of heart, for a change of ways in how we live together on this fragile island home, and for the energy, the vision, and the courage to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” – Lauren Artress

Jean-Claude Baker (‘Son’ of Josephine Baker), obituaries, NYTimes.com: “irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life” … I had to think about that one.

He told a few friends last week that he had finished his will, an impressive gesture even for the famously unbridled Jean-Claude Baker, irrepressible impresario of his own improbable life.

Over the nearly three decades since wresting his bustling night spot Chez Josephine from the X-rated morass of West 42nd Street, Mr. Baker — who had been mothered as a destitute teenager in France by the fading erotic stage sensation Josephine Baker — had delivered exhausting bonhomie to celebrity-rich audiences of pre- and post-theater diners.

But at 71 he was finding it increasingly wearisome.

“I’ve been a little bit under the blue weather lately,” he emailed me in late November, on why he had proposed lunch and then gone missing. Last summer, he wrote, “It’s becoming very difficult to keep the dream alive” and “my brain is tired.”

Still, it seemed easy to discount his mood swings.

“He’d been saying for 25 years, ‘I can’t go on, I’m going to kill myself,’ ” said Richard Hunnings, one of Mr. Baker’s oldest friends and general manager of Manhattan Plaza, the artist-friendly rental complex across 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue.

Yet there he was, night after night, in his Shanghai Tang silks, red mandarin outfits and black soutane, embracing patrons, dispensing gigs to needy musicians and leaking juicy self-promotional tidbits to the gossip columns.

Last Thursday morning, he was found dead in his Mercedes that had been running in the enclosed garage of his East Hampton, N.Y., home.

via Jean-Claude Baker, ‘Son’ of Josephine Baker, Is Remembered – NYTimes.com.

Krista Tippett, Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being: Christmas is troubling in a secular world with family members who have beliefs all over the spectrum.  So I like her conclusion: “As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.”

Here’s what I take seriously. There is something audacious and mysterious and reality-affirming in the assertion that has stayed alive for two thousand years that God took on eyes and ears and hands and feet, hunger and tears and laughter and the flu, joy and pain and gratitude and our terrible, redemptive human need for each other. It’s not provable, but it’s profoundly humanizing and concretely and spiritually exacting. And it’s no less rational — no more crazy — than economic and political myths to which we routinely deliver over our fates in this culture, to our individual and collective detriment.

So here’s what I’m thinking about this Christmas. Recently I followed up on a promise I’ve been making myself for years: to wash and sort and give away all the good clothing my kids have outgrown as they’ve left childhood behind. It’s embarrassing that I never took the time to do this all along. In the course of digging around for where to donate, I stumbled on the site of a charity that works with homeless teenagers. It turns out that they’re not asking in the first instance for all these Levis and good-as-new, cool t-shirts. They’re asking for donations of socks and coats. They’re asking for newly purchased underwear, noting that most of us take for granted our ever-renewable supplies of clean underwear that fits.

I’m not going to buy any presents this year. We will go shopping as a family for these homeless teenagers, and I’ll try to be honest about the equivalent I would spend on my own children on the commercial holy days if I believed in them. I report this in some hope of feeding a little rebellion I sense many of us are quietly tending. But I also make it public to be sure I follow through.

As I said, we need each other. And that impulse, surely, is deep in the original heart even of the most secular things like Santa Claus and surrounding your home with lights: examining what we are to each other and experiencing that, sometimes when we do this, something transcendent happens.

via Why I Don’t Do Christmas | On Being.

 

24
Jun
14

6.24.14 … “The New Right values extremism, obstructionism, partisanship, and–frankly–ignorance. I am disappointed to realize that the New Right seems to want to walk hand-in-hand with the horrible strain of anti-intellectualism that sees universities as vocational schools and vilifies anyone expert in a field as somehow not living in the ‘real world’ or representative of ‘real people.'” – Kate Cochran

Leading up to the Runoff, Kate Cochran, Thad Cochran, Mississippi Senate Primary Runoff 6.24, GOP, New Right, Tea Party: Excellent piece by Ms. Kate  Cochran, daughter of Sen. Thad Cochran of MS, who faces a serious primary challenge from Tea Party-endorsed Chris McDaniel.  Kudos to Ms. Cochran for taking the time and effort to explain what many on the right see as an alarming shift away from traditional Republican principles to those of the “New Right.” I am fortunate to know a few “statesmen” on both sides of the aisle. It is these men and women who make this country work by understanding that a balancing of power within our legislative branch and the balance of powers among our three branches is essential to our greatness.

The New Right values extremism, obstructionism, partisanship, and–frankly–ignorance.  I am disappointed to realize that the New Right seems to want to walk hand-in-hand with the horrible strain of anti-intellectualism that sees universities as vocational schools and vilifies anyone expert in a field as somehow not living in the “real world” or representative of “real people.” But because no one can be an expert, everyone is, which is where the New Right finds its loudest voices: those with no training, education, or experience shouting down those who bring expertise to the table.  I think this is the reason that so many seem swayed by my father’s opponent: he is valued for his lack.  Lack of experience (he is not a “career politician.”)  Lack of wisdom (he relies solely on Jesus, the Constitution, and common sense*–combined in the veneer of “goodness”).  Lack of judgment (he vows to refuse federal monies and to try to impede legislation).  Lack of specificity (what are “Mississippi values”?).  Lack of perspective (how does he believe for one moment that a junior Senator from the poorest state will have any influence in Washington? How can he believe that he will not want his family to live with him in the D.C. area?).  I see these “qualities” as a disingenuous pose, engineered to appeal to the very worst in our electorate.  Hence, the illegal and immoral actions of his followers make sense–both in my mother’s nursing home and at the Hinds County Courthouse–because he trades in mindless fanaticism.  I find his campaign appalling on intellectual, moral, and idealist levels.  The fact that Mississippi voters are even considering his candidacy saddens me more than I can say.  Mississippi used to be recognized as the most backward, prejudiced, ignorant holdback in our nation, hands down.  This sea change makes me very afraid that we might deserve that mantle.

via Leading up to the Runoff.

Field & Fork: An Evening at The Parklands of Floyds Fork, 21st Century Parks’, The Parklands of Floyds Fork:  I’m in!!

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The evening begins with cocktails along the banks of Floyds Fork, followed by a three-course dinner set in a beautiful walnut grove, not yet open to the public. After dinner, there will be a private concert performed by the 23 String Band in the nearby meadow.

via Field & Fork: An Evening at The Parklands | The Parklands.

Modern Origami: ‘Surface to Structure’, WSJ:

 

Modern Origami: ‘Surface to Structure’ The ancient art of paper folding has come a long way from planes and cranes. “Surface to Structure,” a new exhibit at New York’s Cooper Union (June 19 to July 4), showcases the complexity of modern origami with 134 works by 88 artists.

via Photos: Modern Origami: ‘Surface to Structure’ – WSJ.

Pentatonix,  ‘Pitch Perfect 2’,  Inside Movies | EW.com:  OK, Trobs … what do you think?

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It seems only natural that the country’s favorite a cappella group will appear in the country’s favorite a cappella-based movie, right?

‘Sing-Off’ champs Pentatonix talk competition, their future album, and (of course) Nick Lachey’s puns Enjoy an a cappella ‘N Sync medley, no strings attached — VIDEO Rebel Wilson posts the first photo from the set of ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

Pentatonix, the five-person ensemble that rose to fame after winning the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, has joined the cast of the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2. The band reveals exclusively to EW that they’ll play a rival group to the Barden Bellas, the collegiate a cappella singers at the center of the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, due in theaters in 2015.

The members of Pentatonix spent just one day on set in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a 12-hour whirlwind that included full makeup and wardrobe treatment for members Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, and Kevin Olusola. “We’re wearing some pretty interesting things,” teases Hoying. “You can definitely tell it’s the five of us, but what we’re wearing and who we’re portraying is definitely not Pentatonix.” Grassi adds: “You’re going to love it.”

Pitch Perfect 2 finds the original Bellas—Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and others—returning for another year at Barden University, where they’re ushering a new crew of members into the national-winning group. Expect the five members of Pentatonix to offer threatening competition to the Bellas’ well-oiled machine.

via Pentatonix joins ‘Pitch Perfect 2’: Get details on who they’re playing | Inside Movies | EW.com.

Here Are The Biggest Companies By Revenue In Each State, graphics, maps: Any surprises?

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“We noticed that many states did not have companies included in the [Fortune 500] list, so we decided to perform our own research to find the largest company by revenue in each state based on the location of the corporate headquarters,” wrote Russ Fordyce, a managing director at Broadview, in a Tuesday blog post about the map.

Many of the results are pretty intuitive. There’s Walmart in Arkansas, General Motors in Michigan and Exxon Mobil in Texas. But in some states, especially the smaller ones, you’ll notice some surprising corporate heavyweights. Johnson & Johnson rules in New Jersey, while CVS is the big fish in Rhode Island’s little pond. Additionally, in the state of Washington, it turns out Costco trumps Microsoft.

via Here Are The Biggest Companies By Revenue In Each State.

Google Glass, DVF frames,  third-party retailer, Tech News and Analysis: Anybody I know tried google glass?

 

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Announced last month, the new Diane von Furstenberg frames for Google Glass are now available. Google announced the news early on Monday morning through its Glass Explorer Google+ page. While you can purchase the frames and shades directly from Google, anyone can purchase Glass and the frames online at Net-A-Porter, with the bundle costing $1,800. That’s an expansion from the Google-only sales of the wearable computer. Will Google get many takers at this price? It’s not likely but at least those who do opt-in for Glass will look a bit more fashionable with the DVF frames.

via Google Glass with DVF frames now available through third-party retailer — Tech News and Analysis.

1,600 Papier-Mâché Pandas,  Pandemonium, WSJ:

French sculptor Paulo Grangeon has created pandemonium in Asia with his tour of 1,600 papier-mâché pandas — one for every giant panda left in the wild. http://on.wsj.com/ToiY47

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Photo: Hundreds of pandas sit on the stairs leading to the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. (Credit: EPA)

Before the arrival of the papier-mâché pandas, Paulo Grangeon lived a quiet life at the foot of the Alps designing knives with handles in the shape of baguettes, croissants and carrots.

Even as his 1,600 pandas caused a stir in Europe, Mr. Grangeon, who runs a store in Grenoble, France, was largely ignored as visitors literally embraced and occasionally damaged his creations. Each papier-mâché panda, ranging from 5 to 18 inches high, is supposed to represent one of the remaining 1,600 giant pandas in the wild.

But when the pandas came to Asia, Mr. Grangeon’s handiwork put him in the spotlight. At their first stop, in Taipei, he says crowds waited in “kilometer-long” lines to take pictures of the pandas, and, to his astonishment, the artist.

“I was a bit overwhelmed, but it was good,” he said. “In two or three days, I came back to France and it was fine.”

Now Mr. Grangeon, 63 years old, has brought his pandas to Hong Kong. They were unloaded this month from a jet for a two-week tour. At the airport’s arrival hall, lines of people jostled to take snapshots of the monochrome gang.

via In Asia, 1,600 Papier-Mâché Pandas Bring Pandemonium – WSJ.

 

25
Apr
14

4.25.14 … “Work worth doing.” I like that …

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, quotes, happiness,  The Happiness Project: “Work worth doing.” I like that.

Years ago, when I was a lawyer, I clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor – which was one of those rare, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime work experiences. There are many reasons that I don’t regret law school and my years as a lawyer before becoming a writer, and the chance to work for Justice O’Connor is one of them.

The other day, I was on the phone with the Justice. We were talking about her terrific new site, iCivics, which teaches children about civics, and she’d also visited my website.

“I can tell you what I believe is the secret to a happy life,” she said.

“What’s that, Justice?” I asked. (Sidenote: when you speak directly to a Justice, you address him or her as “Justice” – e.g., “Justice, the cert petitions are here.” This, I always thought, must act as a frequent reminder to them about the value they are supposed to embody!) “What’s your secret?”

“Work worth doing,” she answered firmly.

via The Secret to Happiness, in Three Words, According to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor « The Happiness Project.

Justice John Paul Stevens, marijuana , gay marriage, The Two-Way : NPR, , Six Amendments:  A lot covered here … “he considers himself a conservative.” 

Stevens’ comments are perhaps not particularly surprising. Stevens was, after all, considered part of the court’s liberal wing.

But he was appointed by President Gerald Ford and he considers himself a conservative. Also, just years ago a pronouncement of this kind would have been a bombshell.

Just think back to 1987, when President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg to the high court.

Nine days later, after Ginsburg admitted that he had smoked marijuana, he asked Reagan to withdraw his nomination.

The 94-year-old Stevens has been making waves recently with a new book, Six Amendments, in which he proposes six changes to the U.S. Constitution.

Among them: the banishment of capital punishment, a limit on the amount of corporate money that can be pumped into elections and a curb on the individual right to bear arms.

Scott also asked Stevens about gay marriage. Stevens says that the dramatic shift in public opinion on that issue gives him confidence that “in due course when people actually think through the issues they’ll be willing to accept the merits of some of my arguments.”

Much more of Scott’s conversation with Stevens will air on Weekend Edition Saturday. Click here to find your NPR member station. We’ll add the as-aired interview to the top of this post on Saturday.

via Retired Justice John Paul Stevens: Marijuana Should Be Legal : The Two-Way : NPR.

“It’s certainly not easy to get the Constitution amended, and perhaps that’s one flaw in the Constitution that I don’t mention in the book,” he said during a wide-ranging interview with USA TODAY in his chambers at the court. Noting his book’s half dozen proposed amendments, he mused, “Maybe I should have had seven.”

Even at 94, he said, “it’s amazing how many interesting things there are to learn about the world.”

via Former justice Stevens wants to change Constitution.

Pangea, 250 Million-Year-Old Piece Of Africa Found In Southeastern US, Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly:

Scientists have known for some time of the presence of a strange band of magnetic rock that stretches from Alabama through Georgia and offshore to the North Carolina coast, but its origin has been debated. The ribbon of rock is buried about 9 to 12 miles below the surface. According to a new study published in the journal Geological Society of America, the fissure, known as the Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly, was created hundreds of millions of years ago when the crusts of Africa and North America were yanked apart like stitches in a piece of cloth.

“There was an attempt to rip away Florida and southern Georgia,” geologist Robert Hatcher, of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, told Discovery. “So you have a failed rift there … There are pieces of crust that started in Africa.”

Crustal rocks keep records of Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetism is stored by minerals, particularly strongly magnetic minerals like magnetite. Scientists can discover important information about plate tectonics, the large-scale motion of Earth’s outermost shell, by determining the source of distinct striped magnetic anomalies – kind of like studying the fingerprints left behind at a crime scene.

Scientists have attributed the Brunswick Magnetic Anomaly to a belt of 200 million-year-old volcanic rocks that were formed around the time the Atlantic Ocean was shaped. The location of the magnetic anomaly is thought to mark the point where North America separated from the rest of the supercontinent Pangaea.

via 250 Million-Year-Old Piece Of Africa Found In Southeastern US, Larger Portions May Still Be Discovered.

Beijing’s Subway Stops, Literally Translated,  China Real Time Report, WSJ, kith/kin, China Bike Trip 2007:  Our bike guides in China referred to one town where we stayed as “safety alarm town.” After reading this blog post and looking at the Beijing Subway map, I’m thinking “safety alarm town” was an accurate translation of the town’s name!

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Earlier this month, a map of Hong Kong’s MTR system with stations’ Chinese names literally translated into English made the rounds on the Internet, featuring such gems as “Permanent Security” (Heng On) and “Bamboo Basket Bay” (Shau Kei Wan).

That map got us at China Real Time wondering about the literal translations of Beijing’s subway station names. We couldn’t fit all 200+ stations, so we narrowed it down to some with the best translations.

It was hard to come up with a good methodology, but in the end we opted to essentially plug individual characters into Baidu translate and see what came out.

Many of the stations, particularly those on Line 2, are named after the capital’s old city gates. Qianmen is, literally, the Front Gate, while Andingmen is the Stability Gate and Tiananmen, which marked the entrance to the Forbidden City and now makes up two stops on Line 1 (east and west), is the Heavenly Peace Gate.

Others are named after the landmarks that dotted the city in its idyllic days before it was built up into endless ring roads of traffic: Dirt Bridge (Tuqiao on the Baotong line off Line 1), Peony Garden (Mudanyuan on Line 10), Cattail Yellow Elm (Puhuangyu on Line 5).

The origins of some other stations remain somewhat of a mystery to us at CRT: Puddle of Accumulated Water (Jishuitan on Line 2), Smooth Justice (Shunyi on Line 15) or Cholera Camp (Huoying on Line 8).

Readers, do you have any insight into how some of the more unique station names came about, or did we miss any notable literal translations? (See the actual Beijing subway map here.) Let us know in the comments.

via Beijing’s Subway Stops, Literally Translated – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend 2014 Calendar of Events, “SEASONAL COOKING: SPRING’S BOUNTY”, CHEF CHRIS HALL of Local Three Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, kith/kin, Warm Asparagus Salad, Seared Diver Scallop and Spring Pea Risotto, Mint Strawberry Rhubarb Soup:  What a treat!  And everything was divine!! And I have the recipes if you are feeling adventuresome.  Very good!!

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THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

“SEASONAL COOKING: SPRING’S BOUNTY” COOKING DEMONSTRATION WITH CHEF CHRIS HALL of Local Three Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, hosted by culinary expert, cooking instructor and food writer Heidi Billotto – Thursday, April 24, 10:00am at the Sub- Zero/Wolf Showroom at The Design Center, 127 West Worthington Avenue, Suite 180.

Join Chef Hall as he explores the bounty of spring with you and demonstrates the thinking behind and execution of a spring menu. Chef will be cooking: Warm Asparagus Salad; Frisee, Parmesan, Farm Egg, Sourdough, Bacon Vinaigrette; Seared Diver Scallop; Spring Pea Risotto, Roasted Mushrooms, Mint Strawberry Rhubarb Soup; and Vanilla Creme Fresh, Cornbread “Croutons”

via Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend 2014 Calendar of Events

Poem in Your Pocket Day 4.24, Shel Silverstein:  

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Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day . . . Celebrate with Shel Silverstein! Print this poem from WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, carry it in your pocket, and share it with as many people as you can.

Buzz Aldrin, First EVA selfie:

@NASA I believe I get to claim the first EVA selfie from space during my Gemini 12 spacewalk orbiting Earth 17,000 mph. Best. Selfie. Ever.

via Buzz Aldrin’s photo “@NASA I believe I get to claim the first EVA selfie from space during my Gemini 12 spacewalk orbiti…” on WhoSay.

Dinah Fried, “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals”, Monkey See : NPR:

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Du Maurier’s feast is just one of 50 tableaux collected in Fried’s new book, Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals. It’s full of photographs, all shot from above and each one of food — literary food, to be exact. From the watery gruel in Oliver Twist to a grilled mutton kidney in Ulysses to intricate “salads of harlequin designs” in The Great Gatsby, the book is a tribute to the tastes of authors and their readers.

via Interview: Dinah Fried, Author Of “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals” : Monkey See : NPR.

Netflix, real TV, Neflix own ‘cable channel’:

The offer is limited to those who are both a customer of the three cable companies and a subscriber to Netflix. In addition, the technology requires a cable-provided TiVo box. Although consumers can currently buy TiVos from retail stores that come with the Netflix app, until now cable-provided boxes lacked the Netflix functionality. In order to make the deal possible, Netflix said it had to negotiate with some of its content partners to allow streaming on cable boxes. All Americans with service from one of the three cable companies will be eligible for the offering beginning Monday, company officials said.

via Netflix to become real TV and get its own ‘cable channel’ next week.

The Sound of Music Live!: I’ve held back posting this because it was so bad, but I need a place to store the link in case I forget. What were they thinking. 😦  The Sound of Music Live!.

25
Feb
14

2.25.14 … “Is that American for hello?” …

‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show, The Daily Beast: It wasn’t THAT bad. I’ll admit that I didn’t particularly like Cora’s brother, the character or the actor, and that I’m not a fan of her mother, the character AND Shirley McClain as the actress portraying her. So I was  disappointed with the finale primarily because of  the American relatives.

That was quite a ridiculous season of Downton Abbey, now wasn’t it? What happened to the formerly addictive, splendid, elegant costume drama?

Season four of Downton Abbey, which concluded Sunday night, was all about acceptance. It was about accepting the death of two major characters and the need—for us and the residents of Downton—to move on. Accepting the budding love between a white heiress and a black singer. Accepting the conception of a child out of love—and out of wedlock. And, most of all, accepting the fact that Downton Abbey is a shell of the seductively elegant costume soap opera we all became so addicted to four years ago.

That’s because there’s one thing Downton Abbey refuses to accept is the very thing that’s the supposed to be the crux of the whole damned show: change.

via ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale Review: The Depressing Demise of a Once-Great Show – The Daily Beast.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter, Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward, TIME.com:

On the show, Lady Rose has the opportunity to rub elbows with the Prince of Wales — the future King Edward VIII, who eventually came to the throne in 1936 — and his lover, Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The story’s main arc is set into motion when a letter from the Prince to Freda is stolen by a no-good card sharp hanging around the Crawleys. If he leaks the letter to the international press, it could cause a scandal, which sends Rose and Robert into detective mode.

As it turns out, there was correspondence between the Prince and Freda — as described in the book Letters from a Prince: Edward, Prince of Wales, to Mrs. Freda Dudley Ward. The socialite daughter of a rich businessman, she was already married when she met the Prince, but her marriage wasn’t in good shape. In 1918, the Prince began to send her the first of what would be many letters.

Though their romance ended abruptly in 1934 when the Prince began his relationship with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he would eventually give up the throne, the Prince of Wales didn’t exactly hide his feelings. Take, for example, one missive from June of 1919: “Darling darling beloved little Fredie,” he begins, “This is only just a teeny weeny little scrawl to catch the last post sweetheart and to tell you how fearfully madly I’m loving you this afternoon angel and looking forward to 4:30 tomorrow. Although I only said all this about 12 hrs ago I can’t help saying it all again this afternoon only I mean it even more sweetheart!!”

via Downton Abbey Season 4 Season Finale: The Real Royal Love Letter | TIME.com.

TMBS, N. T. Wright’s Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was_What He Did _ and Why He Matters: Starting the next book for TMBS … I think I would like his dad. And I still don’t know what “eschatology” means, and I’ve looked it up at least 10 times.

“This is the first book I have written since the death of my beloved father, at the age of ninety-one. Having read little or no theology or biblical scholarship until his mid-sixties, when I started writing, he then read everything I wrote within days of its publication and frequently telephoned me to tell me what he thought about it. I cherish some of his comments. “I’ve looked up ‘eschatology’ three times in the dictionary,” he once complained, “and I keep forgetting what it means.” When my big book on the resurrection came out, he read it, all 700 pages, in three days, commenting that he had really started to enjoy it after about page 600. Presumably, with the end in sight, he was starting to experience hope as well as reading about it. Particularly with my popular writings, I now realize that he was always part of the “target audience” of which I was subconsciously aware. Writing a book like this feels different now that he’s not there to read it. In any case, though I hope he learned a few things from me, this book— particularly its concluding chapter— hints at some of the many things I learned from him. As I grieve his passing, I dedicate this book to his memory with gratitude, love, and, yes, hope.’

Wright, N. T. (2011-10-25). Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

9/11, man’s best friend, Daisy, Medal of Honor of New York City:  teary eyed …

Juliette Guidara

Follow · February 20 near Nahant, MA

James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy.

After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love.

She darted away into the darkened hallway.

Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later,

Daisy comes back along with James’ boss, Who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112

On her first run of the building, she leads James, James’ boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building.

But she wasn’t through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James’ wishes she ran back in the building.

On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses.

James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears.

Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. “She led us right to the people, before she got injured” the fireman explained.

Her final run saved another 273 lives. She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.

Daisy is the first civilian Canine to win the Medal of Honor of New York City.

Pass it on to all animal lovers

via Juliette Guidara.

Humans of New York, NYPL:  Almost every post is insightful … read the follow-up, too.

Photo: "You want to photograph me eating chicken?"<br /><br /><br /> "Yep."<br /><br /><br /> "Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."<br /><br /><br /> "What's that?"<br /><br /><br /> "I work at this library.  And before that, I was coming here for twenty years.  It's my favorite place in the world.  As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world.  Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library.  As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library.  When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe.  Now read that back to me."

“You want to photograph me eating chicken?”

“Yep.”

“Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message.”

“What’s that?”

“I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me.”

via Humans of New York.

Because of all the attention of this morning’s library post, I thought it’d only be fair to post the NYPL’s response. I’m quoting four points that they’ve asked me to clarify:

*The man says “I work at this Library.” Ends up, he doesn’t “work” for the library in the sense of being an employee. He is probably doing his work at the library (millions do each year!). We fear the confusion might make people think he is offering his opinion as an employee.

*The vast majority of research books will remain on the site (in far superior storage conditions)

*None of the public spaces he and others enjoy will change, and we’ll be returning a circulating collection to this main library (it had one for its first 70 years).

*This plan will be greatly expanding access to the library. The renovation will allow all New Yorkers–scholars, students, educators, immigrants, job-seekers– to take advantage of this beautiful building and its world-class collections.

Obviously the issue is more complex than soundbites from either side, so feel free to educate yourself further and form your own opinion:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=NYPL+renovation+debate

via Humans of New York.

indie bookstore, LOL:

Photo: Awesome indie bookstore displays FTW.</p><br /><br /> <p>Nice job, Blue Willow Bookshop.

Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased, Salon.com: Overwhelmed by this statement …

Abortion for black women has always been a revolutionary rejection of patriarchy, white supremacy and forced systems of oppression. The great scholars Patricia Hill Collins and Angela Davis have explained that throughout slavery and into the 20th century, self-abortion through herbal remedies, hangers, hatpins and pencils were a way out of slavery and poverty. Our ancestors fought hard to refuse to carry the children of their master rapists and rear another generation of slaves, even when it meant that “barren” women were deemed worthless chattel and sold between plantations. From generation to generation, stories and recipes were passed down to ensure that women weren’t forced to carry pregnancies they never desired or weren’t able to carry healthily. For as many powerful women that raised children in the worst conditions imaginable, so there were those who refused.

via Whitewashing reproductive rights: How black activists get erased – Salon.com.

RIP Harold Ramis: The good are always taken from us too soon!

Photo: The good are always taken from us too soon!<br /><br /><br /> RIP Harold Ramis

North Korea Cloaked in Darkness, Korea Real Time, WSJ, satellite images, picture paints a thousand words, darkness:

One of the most stunning—and revealing—photos ever taken of North Korea was a 2002 satellite image of the peninsula at night, shown by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon briefing.

The photo showed the lights of South Korean conurbations, and even large clusters of fishing boats, in stark contrast to an almost entirely black North Korea. Other than a small spot of light in the showcase capital Pyongyang and the outline of the country, North Korea wouldn’t have been visible at all.

“South Korea is filled with lights and energy and vitality and a booming economy; North Korea isdark. It is a tragedy what’s being done in that country,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

via North Korea Cloaked in Darkness – Korea Real Time – WSJ.

Upinspire, This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked, secret lives: What a great story:  Upinspire – This Math Teacher kept a big secret from his students that left them shocked..

13 Things Mentally Strong People Dont Do, lists: Good list …

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

via 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.

14
Jul
13

7.14.13 … worst airports … “the only alternative is to become guest of honor at the crematorium” … 10 Degrees South … Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ … “To thine own self be true” … RIP, Finn … I am J.K. Rowling …

Beijing, World’s Worst Airports, lists, WSJ, kith/kin:  My personal experience supports this.

Stories of travel in Chinese airports are a horror genre in their own right, and with good reason: When it comes to on-time arrivals or departures, the country’s airports are literally the worst in the world.

According to FlightStats, which tracks airport statistics, Beijing’s airport ranks dead last among the world’s top 35, with fully 82% of flights failing to leave on time. Second worst was Shanghai, at 71%.

Such chronic tardiness has led to periodic passenger meltdowns and even physical altercations. Last year, the country’s Civil Aviation Administration was prompted to issue a circular urging officials to maintain better order and ensure that overexcited passengers who vent their rage by “smashing counters and rushing onto runways” are punished.

Even Hong Kong, which prides itself o

via Beijing, Shanghai World’s Worst Airports for Delays – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

Malala Yousafzai, United Nations, education of women, worth watching:

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrated her 16th birthday Friday at the United Nations by demanding that world leaders provide free

via Malala Celebrates 16th Birthday With UN Address – YouTube.

The Quartet , Roger Ebert:  Who recommended The Quartet?  With lines like, “the only alternative is to become guest of honor at the crematorium,” I am not not so sure …

In a luxurious British retirement home for retired musicians, two questions circle each other. One involves former opera stars who were once married, long ago and briefly. The other is about a gala that may be able to raise enough money to keep the home from closing.

We understand that these characters made a lot of money in their lifetime and can afford this expensive retirement. But practical details at Beecham House are murky. There seem to be no elevators, and all the octogenarian residents, even Jean with her hip replacement, use the stairs. The staff consists of the supervisor and a few nurses. We understand why that would be enough for the stage, but Hoffman’s film accepts all the limitations of a stage play and just doesn’t care. It’s curious, for example, that not a single one of the residents seems to have a single relative. No children. No grandchildren. Nobody.

This movie will no doubt be pitched to the same audiences that loved “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It even brings Maggie Smith along. But it lacks that film’s life, intelligence and spirit. It has a good heart. I’ll give it that. Maybe what it needs is more exotic marigolds.

via Quartet Movie Review & Film Summary 2012 | Roger Ebert.

10 Degrees South, restaurants, Atlanta GA: South African restaurant … very good. 🙂

BOBOTIE SPRING ROLLS $8.50sweet ground beef curry, served with chutney.

BILTONG $10.00cured beef slices.

CALAMARI $9.00grilled and tossed in lemon caper butter sauce.

LOLLIPOP LAMB CHOPS $14.00 two marinated chops, served over mashed potatoes.

via 10 Degrees South menu – Atlanta, GA 30342 – (404) 705-8870.

JK Rowling Pseudonym, Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’:

The novel was published in April by Sphere in the UK – the same imprint at Little, Brown as her first fiction novel after Harry Potter, The Casual Vacancy. Set in London, it features a one-legged private detective called Cormoran Strike, who is hired to investigate the death of a supermodel called Lula Landry. The book’s description on Amazon says “You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.”

Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron says the book has so far sold just 1,500 copies, and that a second Galbraith book is to be published next year. Update: Since the news broke, New Statesman reports that the book’s Amazon sales have gone up more than 150,000%.

via JK Rowling Pseudonym: Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is Actually By Harry Potter Author.

Born in 1968, Robert Galbraith is married with two sons. After several years with the Royal Military Police, he was attached to the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for protagonist Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who have returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.

via JK Rowling Pseudonym: Robert Galbraith’s ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ Is Actually By Harry Potter Author.

Ten things, freshman,  college, lists, http://www.ajc.com, worth reading:

10. Use this time to plan for your future.

“Know thyself” (Socrates), “To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare), and “Just do it” (Nike) are good words to live by, Appleby said.

“College is a time to explore and get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, dreams and passions,” he said. “If you do that, you’ll make a plan to take the courses that will help you be who you want to become.”

via Ten things that every freshman needs to know about college | www.ajc.com.

RIP, Finn, 

Cory Monteith, ‘Glee’ : Sad …

 

Cory Monteith, the handsome young actor who shot to fame in the hit TV series “Glee” but was beset by addiction struggles so fierce that he once said he was lucky to be alive, was found dead in a hotel room, police said. He was 31.

Monteith, who played the character Finn Hudson on the Fox TV series about a high school glee club, was found dead in his room on the 21st floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Vancouver’s waterfront at about noon Saturday, according to police.

Deputy Police Chief Doug Lepard said there was no indication of foul play. Monteith’s body was found by hotel staff after he missed his check-out time, Lepard said.

“We do not have a great deal of information as to cause of death,” Coroner Lisa Lapointe said.

Lepard said Monteith had been out with people earlier and that those people are being interviewed.

“I have no words! My heart is broken,” Dot-Marie Jones, who plays football coach Shannon Beiste on “Glee,” said in a post on her Twitter account Saturday night. She called Monteith a “hell of a friend” and an “amazing” man.

via Cory Monteith, Star of Hit Show ‘Glee,’ Found Dead – ABC News.

Twitter, favorites:

Jane Austen ‏@DailyJaneAusten 3m

“It is not every man’s fate to marry the woman who loves him best.” ― Jane Austen, Emma

via Twitter.

Albert Brooks Verified account@AlbertBrooksFilmmaker, actor, author Albert Brooks. Originally joined Twitter to promote my book. Now trapped. Cant get out. Help. http://amzn.to/gUl6Fb

I am J.K. Rowling.

via 12 Twitter.

11
Jun
13

6.11.13 … Booz Allen Fires NSA Leaker “for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy’’ … ah, duh …

Booz Allen, NSA Leaker, Edward Snowden, Washington Wire, WSJ:  Obviously …

Booz Allen Hamilton said it fired Edward Snowden on Monday, after he came forward and announced he had used his position as a contractor at the National Security Agency to disclose secret documents about government surveillance programs.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Booz Allen, a large government contractor, said it had terminated Mr. Snowden “for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy.’’

Mr. Snowden told the Guardian newspaper that he left work in May, telling his bosses that he needed some time off to deal with a medical problem.

via Booz Allen Fires NSA Leaker – Washington Wire – WSJ.

Loved this from BT:

I can see the ad to fill the spot now: “Mindless automaton required, no previous experience with conscience necessary”

11
Jun
13

6.11.13 … Porsche 918 Spyder: $845,000 …

cars, rich people, Porsche 918 Spyder, hybrid cars, Speakeasy , WSJ:  really rich or really stupid?

 

But the debate lost steam recently with the rollout of the production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid supercar with a top speed of 211 miles an hour and a price of $845,000.

Even though the German sports-car maker touts the new car’s potential for high fuel economy, its lithium ion battery and the electric motors mounted on its front and rear axles are designed to boost performance. And the combination works well. With its V8 engine and electric motors, the 918 puts out a staggering 887 horsepower and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds – about even with the quickest sport motorcycles.

via Porsche 918 Spyder: Finally, A Hybrid Car For Really Rich People – Speakeasy – WSJ.




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